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    Default New Gecko (and reptile) owner


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    Hello,

    My name is Lawrence and I知 going to be a first time reptile keeper this Friday. I知 going to get a baby Leopard Gecko and I知 super excited. I have a 20 gallon long tank, 3 hides, one for the hot side, cool side and a humid hide to help with shedding. I知 going to start with using paper towel as a substrate and I will be using an under the tank heater because I heard they need belly heat to digest food. I also bought a UVB fixture as I heard it is good for them. The thing I am confused about is: 1. Should I get another light (LED?) or is the UVB lamp sufficient? 2. Do I keep the UVB on for the full 10-12 hours of daylight for the day/night cycle?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    Ideally you'll be dusting the feeders with calcium and vitamin D3. You don't need the lights at all since the gecko is nocturnal, as long as there's ambient light in the room.

    Aliza

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    Welcome aboard, Lawrence!

    All these issues are very important when using UVB for a leopard gecko.

    • What exact brand & name of UVB light & fixture did you buy?
    • For ambient light I place a 15 watt incandescent bulb in a 5.5 inch dome. It's dimmed to half power by a rheostat/dimmer. That provides a photo period for your leo and enough light for viewing. I leave that on about 12 hours.

    There are alternatives to past "conventional" lighting and heating. Within the last several years UVB for reptiles is being discussed more and more.

    It's correct that leopard geckos can successfully be kept using a combination of supplements (calcium with D3, plain calcium carbonate, & a multivitamin without D3), under tank heating, and a "plain" substrate. Keepers have been doing so for ages.

    UVB lighting for a 10 gallon is excessive! There's just not enough space within a 10 gallon to safely or effectively provide UVB lighting.

    If you wish to use UVB, here are guidelines for lighting and heating when using a 20 gallon long enclosure: 30 x 12 x 12 inches tall. If you also wish to go bioactive, a 36 x 18 x 18 enclosure will be ideal. There you'll have room to establish a substantially deeper substrate.

    Best practices for a leopard gecko's 20 long enclosure: 30 x 12 x 12 inches tall . . . . . . GU member Marillion with Dr. Fran Baines

    14 January 2021: UVB guidelines for a shade dwelling gecko like a leopard gecko with a Ferguson Zone UV Index requirement = 0.5 - 1.0

    \/ \/ \/ See UVB guidelines below for a 20 long enclosure!

    • + Dr. Fran Baines (Reptile Lighting facebook group's lighting expert & DVM) recommends using Arcadia Reptile's 12" long T5 7% Shade Dweller UVB linear tube light with a reflective fixture to ensure a .5 - 1.0 UVI (UV Index) rating at a 12" depth through mesh.
    • + use linear fixture with a reflective coating for tube light
    • + place UVB tube fixture over the warm end
    • + slate substrate covering at least half the enclosure's length: flat slate or slate chunks randomly arranged. (Slate is a superior stone for absorbing heat.)
    • + place a 50 watt Arcadia Deep Heat Projector (DHP) or a suitable wattage halogen flood bulb on the warm end directly above slate substrate to maintain heat
    • + thermostat for for Deep Heat Projector or halogen flood bulb

    When providing UVB for shade dwellers like leopard geckos, Dr. Fran Baines (DVM and lighting guru) recommends a backup dose of a powdered D3 supplement @ 1-2 feedings per month.
    For additional details please read here.
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 01-18-2021 at 02:56 AM.
    "If you can hear crickets, it's still summer." ;)

    "May the peace that
    You find at the beach
    Follow you home"

    Click: Leo Care Sheet's Table of Contents

    ===> No plain calcium, calcium with D3, or multivitamins inside an enclosure <===

    Oedura castelnaui ~ Lepidodactylus lugubris ~ Phelsuma barbouri ~ Ptychozoon kuhli ~ Cyrtodactylus peguensis zebraicus ~ Phyllurus platurus ~ Eublepharis macularius ~ Correlophus ciliatus ~ (L kimhowelli) ~ (P tigrinus) ~ (P klemmeri) ~ (H garnotii)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elizabeth Freer View Post
    Welcome aboard, Lawrence!

    • What exact brand & name of UVB light & fixture did you buy?
    • For ambient light I place a 15 watt incandescent bulb in a 5.5 inch dome. It's dimmed to half power by a rheostat/dimmer. That provides a photo period for your leo and enough light for viewing. I leave that on about 12 hours.

    There are alternatives to past "conventional" lighting and heating. Within the last several years UVB for reptiles is being discussed more and more.

    It's correct that leopard geckos can successfully be kept using a combination of supplements (calcium with D3, plain calcium carbonate, & a multivitamin without D3), under tank heating, and a "plain" substrate. Keepers have been doing so for ages.

    UVB lighting for a 10 gallon is excessive! There's just not enough space within a 10 gallon to safely or effectively provide UVB lighting.

    If you wish to use UVB, here are guidelines for lighting and heating when using a 20 gallon long enclosure: 30 x 12 x 12 inches tall. If you also wish to go bioactive, a 36 x 18 x 18 enclosure will be ideal. There you'll have room to establish a substantially deeper substrate.



    For additional details please read here.

    Thanks for all the info! I have a mini desert uvb lamp from zoomed, and an exo terra 13w desert uvb bulb. I do have a 20 gallon long tank and have the bulb to the far right side of the tank, which keeps the light mainly in that area. I actually just got the little guy today, he seems very uneasy right now, which I heard is normal. But, I was wondering how long it usually takes for them to settle in? I知 a worrier by nature and I want to see him eating haha. Thanks.

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    UVB Weekly Schedule 154 for Leopard Geckos 0-12 months old
    (with UVB)

    *****It's crucial for your leopard gecko to have an enclosure larger than a 10 gallon (20 x 10.5 x 12 inches tall) prior to experimenting with UVB. There are downsides to UVB too.

    A 20 long: 30 x 12 x 12 inches tall IS the bare minimum enclosure size when providing UVB for any leopard gecko! A leo will need at least 3 hides to dodge the rays when he feels the urge.*****

    Metabolic bone disease (MBD) symptoms include uneven (lopsided) gait, walking on one or both "elbows", bowed limbs, belly dragging, and an underbite. Difficulty chewing should be closely monitored.
    The Reptile Supply Company based in Lodi, California stocks Zoo Med's ReptiVite multivitamins withOUT D3.
    During this time your leopard gecko will be transitioning from daily feeding to feeding 3x per week. This all depends upon how fast your leo grows!


    Feed lightly dusted prey 3x per week only.


    • Monday > > crickets or dubia lightly dusted with Zoo Med's Reptivite multivitamins withOUT D3
    • Tuesday > > mealworms, superworms, or black soldier fly larvae (Phoenix worms) > > no dusting
    • Wednesday > > crickets or dubia lightly dusted with pure precipitated calcium carbonate withOUT D3 (Zoo Med's Repti Calcium or NOW human brand calcium)
    • Thursday > > mealworms, superworms, or black soldier fly larvae (Phoenix worms) > > no dusting
    • Friday > > crickets or dubia lightly dusted with pure precipitated calcium carbonate withOUT D3 (Zoo Med's Repti Calcium or NOW human brand calcium)
    • Saturday > > mealworms, superworms, or black soldier fly larvae (Phoenix worms) > > no dusting
    • Sunday > > no food or free choice > > no dusting


    ***** When your leopard gecko is taking advantage of appropriate UVB rays, Dr. Fran Baines (Reptile Lighting group's lighting guru) strongly recommends a backup dose of powdered D3 @ 1-2 feedings per month! Just substitute 1 D3 calcium dusting for 1 plain calcium dusting during those 1-2 weeks only. *****


    For link 154 click: UVB Weekly Feeding & Supplement Schedule 154 for leopard geckos 0-12 months old
    When your leo is about 6 months old cut back feedings to Monday, Wednesday, & Friday with maybe a mealworm snack on Saturday.
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 01-18-2021 at 03:26 AM.
    "If you can hear crickets, it's still summer." ;)

    "May the peace that
    You find at the beach
    Follow you home"

    Click: Leo Care Sheet's Table of Contents

    ===> No plain calcium, calcium with D3, or multivitamins inside an enclosure <===

    Oedura castelnaui ~ Lepidodactylus lugubris ~ Phelsuma barbouri ~ Ptychozoon kuhli ~ Cyrtodactylus peguensis zebraicus ~ Phyllurus platurus ~ Eublepharis macularius ~ Correlophus ciliatus ~ (L kimhowelli) ~ (P tigrinus) ~ (P klemmeri) ~ (H garnotii)

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